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Woman complains to IPSO over weekly’s lack of social media activity

A woman complained to the press watchdog that a weekly newspaper had not shared a story on its social media channels.

The unnamed woman complained to the Independent Press standards Organisation about the Peterborough Telegraph’s efforts to correct inaccurate information it had been supplied by Peterborough City Council.

HTFP reported in September that the Telegraph said sorry after publishing the inaccuracy about a mother who was paid £5,000 in compensation by the council when two historical complaints regarding a child with special educational needs were upheld.

IPSO launched an investigation into the issue as a result.

Peterborough Town Hall

Peterborough Town Hall

The woman claimed the newspaper had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy), Clause 2 (Privacy) and Clause 6 (Children) of the Editors’ Code of Practice had inaccurately reported details of the complaints she had made to the council, which related to her child, and had disclosed private details about her and her family without consent.

She said a letter from the council explaining the error was given insufficient prominence in the Telegraph, and the initial inaccurate article remained unchanged on the newspaper’s website.

The paper said it had understood that the letter provided by the authority was for publication, and was not an official complaint, so the online article was not amended and a correction was not published.

When the complainant contacted the newspaper to express her concerns, it removed the online article and agreed to publish a follow-up piece to make the correct position clear.

It agreed the wording with the complainant before publication, and had understood that the matter was resolved – stating it would share the follow-up piece on social media in the same way that the original article had been promoted.

However, the complainant told IPSO the follow-up was not promoted on social media as promised.

IPSO began investigating the matter, but the Telegraph then shared the story on its social media channels to the complainant’s satisfaction.

As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.

The full resolution statement can be read here.